Market News

Decline continues for soybeans, corn, wheat

Soybeans were lower on fund and technical selling. Contracts were up early, following bean oil, but dipped on oil moving down from its highs, along with overhead resistance. Soybean oil closed towards the middle of the day’s range, overall, on strength in palm and crude oils, while bean meal was down on comparatively slow demand due to a bigger crop in Argentina, along with product spread trade. February’s soybean crush was record large for the month, even if it was short of pre-report expectations. AgRural says 75% of Brazil’s soybean crop is harvested, slightly slower than last year. CONAB’s updated outlook for Brazil is set for April 11th, the same day as the USDA’s new supply, demand, and production report. Brazil continues to hold a price advantage over the U.S., cutting into the market share, especially with China.

Corn was lower on fund and technical selling. 2% of U.S. corn is planted and while there are some near-term rain delays, the precipitation is generally welcome, aside from potential flooding in parts of the region. Most of the planting progress has been in Texas, with lesser amounts, so far, in the heart of the Corn Belt, but some areas should still see decent progress this week. Dry conditions are an issue for second crop corn in southern Brazil, potentially limiting production potential. Safras E Mercado says second crop planting is nearly complete. The USDA’s attaché in Brazil pegs the combined 2023/24 crop at 122 million tons, compared to the most recent official USDA guess 124 million tons and the 2022/23 total of 135.5 million tons. The post sees production rising to 129 million tons in 2024/25.
The U.S. Energy Information Administration’s weekly ethanol production and stocks numbers are out Wednesday.

The wheat complex was lower on fund and technical selling. 56% of winter wheat is in good to excellent shape, well above a year ago, with soft red in better condition than hard red. Still, much of the hard red winter crop has greatly benefitted from better fall and early winter precipitation, canceling out some of the impact of a shift to drier weather, while parts of the soft red winter region have been excessively wet during the early stages of emergence. Spring wheat planting is just getting underway in parts of the northern U.S. Plains. The dollar index was down Tuesday but remains relatively high priced when compared to competing exporters like Russia and Ukraine, limiting global demand for U.S. wheat. The USDA’s attaché in Brazil estimates 2023/24 wheat production at 5.5 million tons, a little bit below the last official projection but up from 2022/23, largely due to an increase in acreage. Heavy rainfall in southern Brazil during key stages has had an impact on quality. 2024/25 wheat production in Brazil is seen at 4.5 million tons.

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